Windows 7 to Hit Stores This Year in Fourth Quarter

Microsoft Corp. said Windows 7, the next major version of its operating system, will go on sale in time for the 2009 holiday season. A public commitment from Microsoft that it expects to be able to get the software into stores in time for the key retail season will be a relief for the company, as well as its large customers, retailers and investors.

“We’re tracking well to deliver Windows 7 in time for holiday availability based on the groundswell of feedback we received from the partner ecosystem, customers and through our own internal testing from pre-Beta to now,” Bill Veghte, senior vice president for Windows, said in a statement. He added, however, that Microsoft “will not ship the product…until it meets our quality bar.”

Delivering a smooth launch of Windows 7 in time for the 2009 holiday season will go some way toward persuading both consumers and corporate customers Microsoft has learned the lessons of Vista.

Mr. Veghte also told attendees at the TechEd user conference Monday in Los Angeles that large customers including Del Monte Foods Co. and window maker Pella Corp. planned to deploy Windows 7 early. Microsoft hopes that by signing large corporations up for early adoption, it will be able to persuade other corporate customers of the merits of Windows 7. Many large organizations have resisted using Vista, relying on its predecessor, Windows XP.

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